WARSAW — Although the summer is winding down, Warsaw’s mayor has opened the book on reading during months when youngsters aren’t in school
With the discovery by Warsaw mayor Win Batten and other city leaders that the Boys and Girls Club was not providing the expected summer activities for town residents, Batten introduced to the town commissioners a new summer reading initiative to start immediately.
“After it was brought to my attention that the Boys and Girls Club was not providing adequate services to the young people of our town, we got to work on something we could do to help our young people,” Batten said Monday night.
“ Working with Duncan McCullum from the Down East Initiative, we came up with a summer reading program we hope to start as soon as we can get some things worked out,” the mayor added.
The mayor shared that he had already contacted Warsaw Elementary principal Daren Tyndall concerning the project, and commissioner Susan Greenhill had been making phone calls to area businesses and otherse to get input and inform them of a planning meeting scheduled for Wednesday, at 1:30 p.m. at Town Hall.
“Ms. Greenhill has been calling teachers and possible volunteers for the program. We realize that there are only about six more weeks in the summer, but we want to get this off the ground now ... then we can build upon it for next year,” remarked Batten. He indicated that he hoped everyone in the community would get involved in the program because reading, he said, is key to everyone’s education.
As an incentive for the program, the mayor shared that Tyndall had agreed to give a $1 golden coin to each reader who successfully completes a book during the summer. “Mr. Tyndall said he would give a gold coin to each student reading a book this summer and as the individuals spend those dollars, it will show the community that young person is a proficient reader,” expressed Batten.
The commissioners were informed that a site for the program had not been determined at this time but the Warsaw library could not be used due to the fire marshals limitation of only 15 occupants at the time.
Batten shared that several locations were being considered, such as the conference room in town hall or possibly the large meeting room at the fire department. “If we can get just a few young people in the program this summer, if only five or six, it will be a success. It will also be something we can build on for the future,” added the mayor.
Batten encouraged the commissioners and shared his hope that as many people as possible would attend the planning meeting scheduled for Wednesday. “We realize this is late notice and time is short, but we want to get something done now to help the young people of our area.”
The mayor also said Boys and Girls Club organizers said they would be happy to work with the summer reading program when it is up and running.
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